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Insufficiency of Animal Sacrifices
Heb. 10:1-10


Under the Mosaic Law, there was a continual animal sacrifice. It goes on and on and continued for hundreds of years. Here the Apostle Paul is showing a contrast between the Old and the New covenant again so the Hebrew believers can see the superiority, and the permanency of the one perfect sacrifice of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. He satisfied the Law and His death fulfilled the will of God the Father.

I. Mosaic sacrifices is imperfect and repeatable (Heb. 10:1-4)
A. The Law was holy, righteous, and good; but it was only “a shadow of good things to come” and not the reality itself. The sacrificial system was a type or picture of the work our Lord would accomplish on the cross. This meant that the system was temporary, and therefore could accomplish nothing permanent. The very repetition of the sacrifices day after day, and the Day of Atonement year after year, pointed out the entire system’s weakness. The Aaronic priesthood, with all of its offerings and ceremonies, served as a figure of Christ and His sacrifice.
B. The word image comes from the Greek “eikon” and speaks of a “representation or likeness.” A shadow can reveal an outline or a representation, but shadow has no substance. You can look at a shadow and get some idea of what it represents, but the shadow is no substitute for the real thing. The shadow of the old covenant represented that which was to come. The “good things to come,” seems to refer to those “good things” which belonged to the dispensation that was to come; that is, the dispensation under the Messiah. (Heb. 9:11). OT sacrifices” could not give peace of conscience, or bring the worshipers into an ideal relationship with God. Had they provided a true and satisfactory atonement for sin, they would have ceased but in fact those sacrifices only brought up a remembrance of sins every year.
C. “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls… take away sins” (Heb. 10:4) These OT sacrifices of “the blood of bulls and of goats is powerless to take away sins.”. Also, they cannot remove guilt. Jesus is a better sacrifice. He takes sins away. When the sinner comes to Christ, his sin is finally, fully and forever removed, as it never happened. Heb. 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. You don’t have to feel guilty anymore for your past sins. The problem sometimes is we cannot forgive ourselves despite of the fact that the Lord has already forgiven us and our sins are remembered no more.

Illustration/Application: Psalm 23’s “Shadow” Not Hurt
I think Psalm 23 is more misquoted than any other portion in the whole Bible. It is known in all the Catholic churches; it is known in the Greek church; it is in the Jewish synagogue; they chant it in a great many denominations burying the dead.
Armies went to battle chanting the Twenty-third Psalm. People will weave it into their prayers, and conversation, and chapel services. They will say, “Yea, though I walk through the dark valley.” They will emphasize the word “dark,” and send the cold chills running down your back. “Yea, though I walk through the dark valley of the shadow of death.”
I want to tell you, my dear friends, the word “dark” isn’t there at all. The devil sticks that in to confuse believers. It is, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.”
What is the difference? Must not there be light where there is shadow? Can you get a shadow without light? If you doubt it, go down into the cellar tonight without a light, and find your shadow if you can.
All that death can do to a true believer is to throw a shadow across his path. Shadows never hurt anyone. You can walk right through shadows as you can through fog, and there is nothing to fear. Must not there be light where there is shadow.
Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations: Signs of the Times.

II. The provision of the better sacrifice (Heb. 10:5 – 9).
A. It was God who provided the sacrifice and not man. The quotation is from Ps. 40:6-8, and it is applied to Jesus Christ in His incarnation. Our texts make it clear that Jesus Christ is the fulfilment of the Old Covenant sacrifices.
B. The word sacrifice refers to any of the animal sacrifices. The meal offerings, the drink offerings, the burnt offering, sin offering, and the trespass offering, all typified the sacrifice of Christ and revealed some aspect of His work on the cross (Lev. 1-7).
C. The word pleasure comes from the Greek “eudokeo” and speaks of pleasure in the sense of satisfaction. Since OT sacrifices are just shadows and had no real substance, God’s righteous demands were not met, none of them would be sufficient to take away sin.
D. The Psalmist represents Christ, who comes simply to do the will of God. Christ in obedience to God’s will gave His “body” on the cross; this was our Lord’s “offering for sin” and it was accepted of God.
E. Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second (Heb. 10:9). God’s delight was never in the rituals and ceremonies of the Old Testament. God’s delight is in His Son, Who, in obedience to the Father’s will, paid for the sin of the world. God always intended to take… away the first (the Levitical system), that he may establish the second (Christ).

Illustration/Application: Each Chaplain Gave Up His Life Jacket
Boarding the SS Dorchester on a dreary winter day in 1943 were 903 troops and four chaplains, including Moody alumnus Lt. George Fox. World War II was in full swing, and the ship was headed across the icy North Atlantic where German U-boats lurked. At 12:00 on the morning of February 3, a German torpedo ripped into the ship. “She’s going down!” the men cried, scrambling for lifeboats.
A young GI crept up to one of the chaplains. “I’ve lost my life jacket,” he said. “Take this,” the chaplain said, handing the soldier his jacket. Before the ship sank, each chaplain gave his life jacket to another man. The heroic chaplains then linked arms and lifted their voices in prayer as the Dorchester went down. Lt. Fox and his fellow pastors were awarded posthumously the Distinguished Service Cross. Today in the Word, April 1, 1992

III. The effectiveness of the better sacrifice (Heb. 10:10)
A. Believers have been sanctified or set apart by the offering of Christ’s body once for all. No Old Covenant sacrifice could do that. An Old Covenant worshiper had to be purified from ceremonial defilement repeatedly. But a New Covenant saint is set apart finally and completely.
B. With one single offering on Calvary Christ purchased salvation for whosoever will call upon Him. By using the word perfected the writer is not implying sinless perfection.
The word perfected comes from the Greek “teleioo” and carries the idea of
“completing, accomplishing or fulfilling.”
C. In relation to the Christian, sanctification or holiness refers to being set apart to God from sin. There are three distinctly different aspects of this sanctification: past, present, and future. Every Christian can say, “I have been sanctified; I am being sanctified; I will yet be sanctified.” Made possible by the one-time sacrifice of Christ.
1. Past Sanctification means the believer is already positionally set apart in Christ (Acts 20:32; 1 Cor. 1:2,30; 6:9-11; Heb. 10:10,14).
2. Present Sanctification is the process by which the Holy Spirit gradually changes the believer’s life to give victory over sin. This is practical sanctification. This is Christian growth, putting away sin and putting on godliness (Rom. 6:19,22; 1Thess. 4:3-4; 1Pet. 1:14-16).
3. Future Sanctification is the perfection the believer will enjoy at the resurrection (1Thess. 5:23). (D. Cloud)
D. Paul wants to encourage his Hebrew brethren to remain true to Jesus Christ. Though many of us may not be an Israeli by race, we should all be encouraged to remain true to Jesus.

Illustration/Application: Developing Holiness
The process of developing holiness. God said to Israel, “Be holy, because I am holy” (Lev. 11:44-45). Because God wants us to become like him, it is necessary that his people be a special kind of people, holy men and women. The basic idea in sanctification is “being set apart for God”; those thus set apart live in a way that is pleasing to God. They have no power of their own to do that, but God enables them (2 Cor. 3:17-18). Sanctification is not an option. God requires it of all his people (1 Thess. 4:3).
The Shaw Pocket Bible Handbook, Walter A. Elwell, Editor, (Harold Shaw Publ., Wheaton, IL; 1984), pp. 357-358

IV. Conclusion:
Animal sacrifices are truly inadequate. It is powerless to remove sin and guilt from our hearts and minds. Christ dying on the cross satisfied God’s requirements. It’s a one-time sacrifice and saved people who come to Him by faith. Those who put their trust in Him are set apart or sanctified. My friend if you want to go to heaven, now is the time for you to repent and receive Christ as your personal Saviour.

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